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24 May 2019 | Story Eloise Calitz | Photo Charl Devenish
Gangster book Discussion
From left: Jacques van Wyk from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Cathy Dlodlo, news editor from OFM; Pieter Roux from the UFS Business School; Alta Vermeulen from the UFS Department of Political Studies and Governance and Pieter-Louis Myburgh, author

A packed Odeion Auditorium at the University of the Free State was welcomed by Professor Helena van Zyl, Head of the UFS Business School. The reason being, a panel discussion with award-winning investigative reporter and author, Pieter-Louis Myburgh, on his much-publicised book Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule's Web of Capture. The programme took the form of a panel discussion. The panellists included Pieter-Louis Myburgh, author; Jacques van Wyk from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE); Cathy Dlodlo, news editor from OFM; Alta Vermeulen from the UFS Department of Political Studies and Governance; and Pieter Roux from the UFS Business School.

In his introduction, Myburgh said he was happy that he was able to come to Bloemfontein and have the discussion, since South Africans should cherish freedom of speech and a free press.

The research for the book took 13 months to conclude, and during this time he spent a lot of time in the Free State and Bloemfontein. He mentioned that the book gave him the opportunity to present a condensed account of what he discovered; he could therefore share more, as opposed to just reporting on a story in the newspaper. For him, investigative reporting should always be fact based and open to scrutiny.

Some of the topics raised by the panel was concern about the perception that investigative journalists are focusing more on corruption in the public sector and less on the private sector. This was, however, discarded as a myth, as Myburgh pointed out that he exposed both private and public sector dealings in order to provide the full scope of involved parties.

Focusing on whistle blowers, the panel challenged the verification of whistle-blower information. Myburgh responded that journalists never use only one whistle-blower’s evidence, since that is merely the start of the investigation. Further investigation was necessary, and facts had to be verified. With that said, there is still a lot to be done with regard to the protection of whistle-blowers, he concluded.

The floor was opened to the audience, which provided the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns about what was mentioned during the panel discussion. The audience eagerly participated in the discussion. In conclusion, Myburgh reiterated that society plays a vital role in keeping those in power to the promises they make.

After the discussion, the audience had the opportunity to have their books signed by the author.

News Archive

Highlights of South Campus
2017-01-18

Description: ACT online South Campus Tags: ACT online South Campus

Description: South Campus new residence Tags: South Campus new residence

Description: South Campus supplementary school Tags: South Campus supplementary school

We look back on 2016 to pick out the outstanding achievements of our three campuses. Here is a selection of headlines from the South Campus.

Fully online Advanced Certificate in Teaching (ACT)

In July 2016, the South Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) became the first in South Africa to introduce an online platform for teachers to obtain the Advanced Certificate in Teaching (ACT). This unique platform, entirely online, provides teachers the opportunity to complete these certificates faster than before.

First residence for UFS South Campus
In the second semester of 2016, a new residence, named Legae, was opened on the South Campus, with 146 double rooms and 17 kitchens. The new residence accommodates 250 undergraduate and 20 postgraduate students and has 270 beds, 20 single-bedroom flats, 12 additional single rooms, as well as eight laundry rooms and a drying area. Since the UFS strives to cater for differently-abled people, this residence has two rooms available on the ground floor of Block C for differently-abled students.

The residence is also the first at the university that has a grey-water system installed. This water will then be reused for toilet flushing as well as for irrigation purposes on the campus.

South Campus supplementary schools foster future Kovsies
The Monyetla Bursary Project, in partnership with the UFS and other sponsors, presents an annual Winter School for Grade 12 learners on the South Campus. In addition, a Saturday school for Grade 12s has been in operation since 2007.

“Champion teachers in the district assist learners”

Each Saturday, 650 learners attend the classes. Chris Grobler, a science teacher at Navalsig High School in Bloemfontein, who organises both schools, says: “The 1 200 learners at the Winter School came not only from the Free State but from as far as the North West province, Gauteng, and Eastern Cape. We are very pleased about this, as it means that the image of the UFS is being carried further afield.”

A special feature included in this year’s programme was interpreting services in South African Sign Language (SASL) for deaf students.

 

 

 

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